Zodiac ★★★★½

It is hard to think of a 21st century director more in control of their work than David Fincher. Every moment of Zodiac is so calculated and precise. It is a film you gaze into and lose all sense of time. The topic is dense yet the film is remarkably lean, even though the pace is never fast. It winds us into obsession and paranoia. It is a film about looking a man in the eye and knowing what he did, yet not knowing with certainty. What I admire about Zodiac is that it sticks to fact, leaving us without any answer. We act only as witness and investigator, never judge or jury. The mundane, digital look creates a flat, real world, one where crime isn't cool or solvable. Instead the film is about a puzzle, a world of a thousand cyphers with no universal solution. Evidence piles up everywhere, but nobody collates it all. However a mystery without a solution is the least satisfying thing of all. Zodiac is a film of the unsatisfied, their fruitless efforts left only as notes and speculation. We may not get a definite answer, but few films make dissatisfaction so compelling.

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